3 Things I Wish I’d Known on Graduation Day

You’re sitting next to your classmates wearing over-sized robes with tassels awkwardly dangling in your face. With “Pomp and Circumstance” playing in the distance, you are feeling a mix of excitement, fear, nostalgia and joy.

Congratulations! This is your high school graduation day and you’re about to embark upon an entirely new life.

Here are three things I wish I’d know that special day.

  1. Popularity or Overated-larity: Maybe you were popular. Maybe you weren’t. I have a huge secret for you—it doesn’t matter. John Bytheway said it perfectly, “Popularity ends on graduation day.” You will not see most of these people ever again…except on social media. Go be who you want to be.
  2. Kindness is Key: If you didn’t learn that kindness goes a long, long way in high school you will for sure discover it now. Kindness with professors, peers, co-workers and family members will make your life so much more full—joyful, helpful, grateful, plentiful and peaceful.
  3. They were RIGHT!: I’m talking about your Young Women leaders. A few years after I graduated I had this huge epiphany. My Young Women leaders were right! If I stayed on the path of righteousness and made the temple my goal I would be happy. What seemed too simple or too difficult spiritually in high school made perfect sense once I was off on my own. Keep doing what you know is right—church attendance, prayer, scripture study, temple service. These are your main ingredients for choosing the right. . (I’m going to put a plug in here for institute—find out where the nearest one is HERE and go. This is what you do now. You will be glad you did.)

Whether you are off to college, getting ready to serve a mission, working or figuring out what your next step will be don’t forget how important you are. Heavenly Father wants to be part of this pivotal part of your life. Figure out what you want to do and make the world a better place because of it. Be honest with your dealings and don’t forget to wash your sheets and call home. In the words of Sister Elaine Dalton, “One virtuous young woman lead by the Spirit can change the world.” Good luck out there.  We are all rooting for you!

Author profile

A 32-year-old mother of two and wife to Brett. A lover of all things covered in sprinkles, organizing and anything New York City related. Currently calling Amsterdam home.

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  • Leslie Lords Robbins
    June 13, 2016 at 8:07 am

    Yahoo for great posts here at RubyGirl. I love this post. Spot on! Thanks, Ashley.

  • Jacqueline White
    June 14, 2016 at 6:10 am

    Great advice Ashley! Thank you for your thoughts. Passing this along to my 3 daughters (and one son).